The Supreme on Friday dismissed the petition of National Commission for Women challenging the Delhi High Court verdict reducing the life imprisonment of a rape convict to five and half years to pave the way for him to join the civil services.
A Bench comprising Justices H S Bedi and C K Prasad rejected the appeal of the NCW saying it had no locus standing (right to appear before a court) in the matter.
"Your prayer is for the enhancement of the sentence. There is no provision in the CrPC allowing persons other than the state, prosecutor or the kins of the victim to file an appeal under such circumstances. You have no locus standing in the case," the Bench said.
Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran, appearing for Delhi government, said the prosecution was not making any appeal against the decision of the High Court.
"We do not prefer to file appeal in the matter," he submitted the before the Bench which refused to interfere with the High Court verdict.
"We are not inclined to interfere with the High Court decision," the Bench said while rejecting the submission of advocate Priya Hingorani that the apex court has inherent power to entertain the appeal.
The NCW had contended that the it was a case of serious crime of rape and the High Court has given untenable grounds for reducing the punishment of the convict.
The convict had cleared the civil services exams during his imprisonment.
Earlier, the apex court had issued a notice seeking response of the NCT government in January 2009.
When the counsel for the NCW tried to bring to the attention of the apex court that it had already issued a notice in the matter, the court said issuing of a notice by it does not debar it from examining the maintainability of appeal.
The High Court had reduced the sentence saying the convict has "redeemed" himself in jail.
Ashok Rai alias Amit, a tutor, was convicted on charge of raping his 21 year old student who had committed suicide after the incident.
However, his conduct that he studied in the jail and got selected in the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) was taken note of by the High Court which said the jail term already undergone by him would meet the ends of justice.
Though the High Court upheld the conviction for the charge of rape, it did not agree with the trial court holding the accused guilty for the offence abetment of suicide.